been thinking about getting a new car and was really looking at the saturn astra. does anyone out there have one? if so how is it, or does anyone have a good suggestion on a good MPG car. i travel 60 mi. one way to work and my 92 saturn is starting to get tired, (plus my son wants it when he gets his DL next month) thanks!!! LAZ
Most of the reviews I've read of the Saturn Astra are fairly neutral- not much praise or criticism. A few have mentioned some issues with squeaky/buzzing dashboards and/or door panels, at least in early production models.
The greatest weakness of the Astra seems to be the 1.8L 138hp 4-cylinder (the only engine available). With manual transmission, it's adequate but with the optional automatic transmission, acceleration figures are tepid by today's standards (0-60mph in 11 seconds with the automatic). The Astra's EPA mileage rating is 24mpg city and 30mpg highway.
There are numerous other options in the same price range that provide superior fuel economy and, in most cases, better performance than the Astra.
The Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla are the obligatory recommendations- they can be rather boring, but you can't really go wrong with either one of them.
The Mazda3 'i' is a more interesting and sporty option. The 'i' trim level has a 2.0L 148hp 4-cylinder engine that earns EPA ratings of 23mpg city and 30mpg highway. Consumer Reports managed to achieve 30mpg overall in their test of this car, though. =)
If you prefer a vehicle from an American automaker, the Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cobalt both are very fuel efficient...though both cars are rather dull looking. The Ford Focus with automatic transmission is rated at 24mpg city and 33mpg highway, manual transmission models are the same in the city and increase to 35mpg highway.
The Chevy Cobalt with manual transmission earns the highest ratings of any new compact car on the market- 25mpg city and 37mpg highway! The automatic transmission cuts those ratings down to 24mpg city and 33mpg highway.
Hope this helps to give you some other options to at least investigate. Feel free to ask if you have any other questions and I'll do my best to help! =)
the astra is all over the place here. (and they're build in the same factory as the saturns)
so it can't be a horrible car... on the other hand it's probably not the ultimate FE machine either, but it should do fairly well with the right driving technique.
it looks nice and it should be fairly practical as well
downside is you only get the 1.8L engine in the us, wich my dad who works on these engines tells me is a very reliable unit, but it's not the most economical power source available in the car, although it should'n delevire a horible milage either. especially with a well used manual (175Nm @ 3800rpm could be put to an advantage i think) getting an astra with a diesel would make for some really nice Fe figures though. it's listed 46mpg combined.
the chevrolet cobalt listed above is build on the same platform as the astra btw
anyway i haven't driven the astra myself but my dad tells me it rides fine, and from what i see it's a decent all round car, nothing overly exiting but not to bad either
well i finally broke down and bought a new car this weekend. i ended up getting a chevy colbalt, i test drove what seems like 100+ cars and was down to three. the chevy, ford focus, and honda fit. all of them fit what i needed them to do, and FE on all three was very close. but the chevy had the smoothest ride and was most quiet. plus i was able to get it for 3k less than the other two. so far my avg. mpg is 34.8 (acoording to the driver info moniter.) we will see what it is on the way home. my drive is 60mi. one way. (cheyenne wy to laramie wy) on the way to work there is an elevation change form 6000ft to 8600ft. then down to 7000ft. so going home is mostly downhill thanks for all the imput, and i'll try and get a gas log going to keep track of everything. thanks again!!!! LAZ
I test drove a Yaris sedan, then a Yaris Hatch... then same day I drove a Pontiac G5 (same as cobalt) and was honestly disgusted at the price tag $16,500 w/ same options as $13,500 Yaris.... driving it wasn't very comfry and the interior was awful IMHO.
I tell everyone I know that is looking for a new car, buy the YARIS!!
I've never owned an import (until 2 days ago when I bought a turbo Miata project car) but when the day comes to replace my Saturn, it will be w/ a Yaris or something deemed "better" by the masses.